The Media Center has been conducting a survey on the effectiveness of the iPads and chromebooks in district five classrooms. The questions range from how often a student uses their school district issued device to how proficient they are with it. But the question of how useful it is to a student still remains.

The Media Center has been conducting a survey on the effectiveness of the iPads and chromebooks in district five classrooms. The questions range from how often a student uses their school district issued device to how proficient they are with it. But the question of how useful it is to a student still remains.

Some teens of this generation see an iPad or a chromebook just like they see any other device: not as a tool to use for their education, but a toy to use for their entertainment.

While some students possess the maturity and self-control to use the devices for its intended purpose, equally as many–if not more–cannot handle the temptation.

Technology can be a distraction to the learning environment in that an iPad can be, and has been, used to play games or send messages. It doesn’t matter how many signs are put up in a classroom or how many times a device has been taken; if a student wants to defy the rules, there is nothing stopping them.

You cannot put an open door in front of someone and expect them not to walk through it. It is within human nature to do what you feel like doing instead of what you should be doing. That especially includes those who lack the determination to fight the urge to break the rules.

Technology can also take a toll on those who do not use the iPad’s for gaming or messaging. Doing something as trivial as checking powerschool for grades or reading during class time can be detrimental to a student as well as others around them. These are not necessarily bad things, but at the wrong time or in the wrong context, can be just as distracting as someone who is gaming or messaging.

Conversely, the iPad can be beneficial to the learning environment as it provides a foolproof way for teachers to make sure that students receive assignments online and therefore have no excuse when it’s time to turn in homework. It also benefits those who have missed class for whatever reason and can find the things they missed online.

Also, students are on their phones all of the times anyway. Might as well give them what they need right where they’ll have it at the click of a button. Some may ignore it…most will ignore it, but at least they can’t say they didn’t see it.

iPads are a gateway to an entirely different way of learning. All the different apps available can help organize, store important information, and keep open communication between teachers and students. Everything a student could need is right at the palm of a hand. Everything is easily accessible and available at the drop of a hat.

And let’s not forget the impact they have on the environment. More iPads means less dead trees.

Technology in district five has not been a total bust. With a little fine tuning and a little more experience with how to handle misused equipment, technology could be easier integrated into district five curriculum.

Story by Zakiya Austin, Sarah Emily Rish, Malik Brazile

Photo by Sarah Emily Rish